"March 8, 2012 |
"Campaigns were conducted by simply the opening of a barrel, and sowing the state from one end to the other with corporation money—the largest barrel winning in the end. This extravagant campaigning prevented the election of any but the wealthy or those supported by special interests."
--from the Terry (Montana) Tribune, February 1910.
There’s no end to the colorful stories of corporate corruption in Montana during the years preceding passage of our now-endangered Corrupt Practices Act, which banned direct corporate electioneering. "
"Montana has the dubious honor of helping provoke passage of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which changed selection of U.S. senators from a vote by state legislators to popular election. The amendment responded in part to the 1899 scandal of copper baron and U.S. Senate hopeful William Clark bribing state legislators for their vote.
Montanans began retaliating against the perversion, not by defending against one assault at a time, but by changing the rules of engagement. After amending the State Constitution in 1906 to empower citizens with the ballot initiative, Montanans organized for long-term solutions to runaway corporate power."
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